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Charles Dumbwin
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Malema Bigger than Unions

17 September 2012, 07:46

Juju has always fancied himself as a pioneer, a self-proclaimed leader and champion of the poor, and looking at current events I think he’s got it right.

Regardless of the long history of trade unions in South Africa, and despite the stranglehold that they have on workers’ interests nationwide, it’s Julius Malema who’s been able to solicit their support and incite the masses to action.

The firebrand expelled former ANCYL leader is on the warpath and seems hell-bent on disrupting any form of government in our country.

If he’s not riling up the ANCYL in the Western Cape to get them to render that province ‘ungovernable’, he’s doing the same thing across the mining sector and if he’s not stopped soon, he’ll be hijacking the mass voice of the working class to bring disruption, if not complete anarchy, to other key industrial sectors.

South Africa’s trade unions have been supporting the plight of workers for decades now.  They’ve been taking their members’ monthly contributions and in return, have been fighting their fight for equality, better wages and better working conditions. 

So after so many years of member loyalty and so much achieved already, why does it appear that our trade unions are surrendering their power to Julius Malema?  Why has he suddenly become the voice of the working class?

Do the trade unions no longer care about their territory?  Don’t they see the value in defending their turf and keeping their membership in tact?  Are they’re prepared to simply surrender all their years of hard work to someone who was expelled from his own political party?

If this is the case, then I really don’t see the point of trade unions in South Africa.

Perhaps the unions and all their members should just consolidate and then convert into a full-blow political party with an impressive starting membership, and hand their entire organisation over to Julius Malema.  That way, no one will have to fight any turf wars and Malema will then gain control of the entire working class of South Africa. 

After all, this does appear to be his agenda as he charges towards Mangaung, deceptively luring growing support as he marches on.

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